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Why we need universal autism screening - in the NY Times

Pediatrician/NYTimes blogger Aaron Carroll explains why the Preventive Services Task Force should change its equivocation to endorsement
September 08, 2015

Today in the New York Times, pediatrician/blogger Aaron Carroll explains why the US Preventive Services Task Force was wrong to conclude that more study is needed before making a clear and strong recommendation that all children be screened for autism at 18 and 24 months.

In its controversial draft statement, the task force noted evidence that autism screening is practical and effective and that early intervention improves outcomes. But it called for more research on children identified solely through universal screening programs. Most past studies have looked at children who received screening and intervention because they showed signs or were otherwise at high risk for the condition.

Read more about the task force’s controversial draft statement – now open for public comment – here.

“Without the stamp of approval from the group, payment for screening is not mandated by the Affordable Care Act,” Dr. Carroll warns. “This means that less screening will be done, even though we know three things: Autism is prevalent, screening works, and early intervention seems to make a difference in those found to have the condition.”

Read Dr. Carroll’s full NYTimes blog post here.

Also see:

Pediatricians join autism advocates to urge universal early screening

ASHA joins advocacy groups calling for universal screening of toddlers for autism

BSRC response to USPSTF call for more research on universal autism screening

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